Work on affect has made significant contributions to how international relations (IR) scholars understand the high politics of international affairs, capturing political reactions to the horrific, the spectacular, and the exceptional. However, the turn to affect has been less inclined to offer comprehensive insight into the importance of emotion in banal or everyday international politics. The theory of ontological security can offer such insight as it attends to experiences of the everyday, particularly through the discursive production of identity. Identity might be disrupted at moments of spectacular or exceptional events that call it into question but is equally made and remade in the discursive production of everyday life. This research focuses on the latter, analyzing the reproduction of the international in the everyday through the vehicle of British soap operas Coronation Street and Emmerdale, both of which introduced storylines about migrant workers in the late 2000s. British soaps are designed to be culturally proximate and incorporate didactic messages. Analysis of soaps offers a layered and intersectional view of emotional reactions to international migration at the level of an abstracted individual and the level of the nation-as-viewer.
- ontological security
- international relations